The Great Debate UK
- Professor David Bailey works at Coventry University Business School. The views expressed are his own -
The UK operations of Jaguar Land Rover lost £673.4m last year after a £640 million surplus the year before, it was revealed last week in accounts filed with Companies House. Adding in actuarial and pensions adjustments, “total recognised losses” at JLR topped almost £1.2bn last year. Not that this is much of a surprise of course. This is a “once in a century” downturn as JLR boss David Smith put it, and most car makers have posted record losses – including Toyota, for the time in its history.
JLR has announced the cessation of X-type production at Halewood at the end of this year, leaving a huge question mark over the viability of the Halewood plant. On current volumes (without the X type) it is difficult to see how JLR can keep open three UK plants.
To keep Halewood operating (which at full capacity is a very efficient plant), the LRX Range Rover concept vehicle needs the green light soon for development and production. This means accessing the EIB loan of £340 million which is already on the table from Europe.
- Professor David Bailey works at the Coventry University Business School and has written extensively on globalisation, economic restructuring and industrial policy, with particular reference to the auto industry. The opinions expressed are his own. -
Despite a run down in heavy commercial vehicle production in the UK in recent years, light commercial vehicles are still made in Britain in quite significant numbers.
from The Great Debate:
-- Robert J. Dewar is a former Ford Motor Company general foreman and author of A Savage Factory: An Eyewitness Account of the Auto Industry’s Self-Destruction. He currently lives in Cincinnati, OH and runs a successful packaging business with his wife and family. The views expressed are his own. --
The war in the auto plants never ended. It flared up and died down, but it never ceased. Management and labor circle each other like sumo wrestlers searching for an opening. Like any war, it ignores honesty, human dignity and common sense. Like any conflict, it leaves collateral damage.
– David Kuo is a director at the financial Web site The Motley Fool. The views expressed are his own. –
The 2009 Budget could be the toughest that any Chancellor will ever have to produce. There is a gaping hole in the country’s finances. Alistair Darling, as custodian of the country’s cheque book, has to find a way to plug it. Not bridge it, not tiptoe around it, not spin across it, but to close it before it gets bigger.
In 2005, the last car stuttered off the production line of Britain’s last domestically-owned volume motor manufacturer, yet the ghost of MG Rover refuses to lie down. Instead, it continues to haunt us in the form of a seemingly everlasting enquiry, started by the then UK Department of Trade four years ago today.
from The Great Debate:
-- Diana Furchtgott-Roth, former chief economist at the U.S. Department of Labor, is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute. The opinions expressed are her own. --
The world is falling in love with plug-in hybrids and all-electric cars. President-elect Obama wants to put 1 million on the road by 2015. GM features them, particularly the Chevy Volt, in its new business plan for a debut in 2010. The EU wants them to shrink greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 by 20% from 1990 levels. This week the Chinese auto company BYD began selling the world’s first commercially-available plug-in hybrid sedan.